ECFMG|FAIMER remains ready to serve foreign national physicians seeking initial J-1 visa sponsorship to enter U.S. programs of graduate medical education (GME) in July 2021. According to results of the 2021 Main Residency Match®, 4,356 foreign national physicians matched to first-year residency positions. As the 2021 J-1 visa application season begins, below are a few reminders:
- The Statement of Need (SON) is a regulatory requirement for all J-1 physicians. In 2020, ECFMG received authorization to accept electronically signed SONs. Applicants for J-1 visa sponsorship are encouraged to pursue this expedient option. Learn more on the SON webpage.
- The U.S. Department of State (DOS) announced in April 2020 that U.S. embassies and consulates would resume visa services for medical professionals with an approved Form DS-2019. If requests for a J-1 visa interview are not accommodated, please e-mail EVSPfirstname.lastname@example.org with the applicant’s name, USMLE Identification Number, and the city/country of the consulate or embassy in question. ECFMG|FAIMER will work in partnership with DOS to help mitigate these issues.
- The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) has published a library of guidance and resources related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Current and prospective J-1 physicians and their training programs are encouraged to review and monitor this important information.
- ECFMG|FAIMER collaborated with other national leaders in GME and medical school student leaders to develop a new toolkit of resources to support medical school graduates and U.S. GME programs in the transition to the first year of GME during the COVID-19 pandemic.
ECFMG|FAIMER is committed to supporting training programs and foreign national physicians throughout the 2021 visa application season and to ensuring J-1 physicians can join their programs on time in July. The ECFMG|FAIMER Exchange Visitor Sponsorship Program (EVSP) will communicate with all relevant stakeholders about any new immigration or COVID-19-related issues that may impact J-1 physicians and their training programs.